The purpose of mucus and phlegm in the body is to safeguard our health and are critical for our respiratory system, but they are not the same.
Mucus causes the sinus congestion during a cold, and it cleanses the nasal passages and humidifies the air we breathe, eliminating particles like dirt or dust. On the other hand, phlegm settles in the respiratory system and is present when we wheeze and cough.
Both contain antibodies and have powerful anti-bacterial properties that fight infections.
Our body produces about one-and-a-half liters of mucus daily, but some illnesses boost its production and alter its consistency. The production of mucus and phlegm is increased by various factors such as:
- a cold or flu
- throat disorders
- a post- nasal drip
- certain foods and beverages; dairy products, caffeine, soy, and spicy foods
- seasonal allergies
There are several simple natural ways to eliminate the excess mucus and phlegm in the body:
1. Honey And Lemon
Honey and lemon are among the most powerful decongestants that reduce the production of mucus and phlegm. They boost the immune system and fight bacteria and inflammation in the body.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a powerful antibacterial agent, and just a few tablespoons daily will help you promote a healthy pH balance in the system and prevent excess phlegm production.
The amazing bioactive ingredient of turmeric – curcumin – offers more than 150 potentially therapeutic properties, including anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antimicrobial, and cancer-fighting elements, so it is excellent in the fight against mucus and phlegm.
4. Ginger Tea
Ginger has potent natural antioxidant, anti-bacterial, and decongestant properties that soothe the lungs and throat by drying out the water-laden mucus and phlegm. To prepare ginger tea, in a 2-cup measuring beaker, add some grated ginger and boiling water, leave it for 10 minutes, and strain.
5. Essential oils
There are many essential oils that can help you loosen mucus and phlegm in the body, and peppermint oil and eucalyptus oil are among the most powerful natural decongestants. You can use essential oils in two ways, diffused or applied topically.
“If you want to diffuse the oil into the air, you can pick up a diffuser from your local drug store. You can also add a couple of drops of the oil to a hot bath or bowl of hot water so the scent is released into the air.
For a more targeted approach, fill a bowl with hot water and a few drops of the essential oil. Lean over the bowl and cover your head with a hand towel to help trap the steam. Breathe in the steam for 5 to 10 minutes.”
If you decide to use it topically, do a skin act test first, and “mix your essential oil with a carrier oil, like jojoba or coconut oil. The carrier oil helps dilute the essential oil and reduces your risk of irritation. Once it’s clear that the oil is safe on your skin, you can apply the diluted oil directly to your chest. Repeat as needed throughout the day.”
6. Air Humidifiers
Dry air can lead to many sinus and throat symptoms, and during the cold season, heaters dry out the air and lead to symptoms like a sore throat, dry skin, dry eyes, and even asthma. You can counteract these effects by using an air humidifier, or taking a hot shower and soaking in a tub.